While Microsoft took the time to create its own Apple-style AirDrop feature in the form of Near Sharing, having the ability to finally share files between PCs without having to search for a USB stick is more than welcome.
However, the host of Windows 10 devices with different hardware components, not to mention technological limitations, can make using proximity sharing a difficult and painful task at times.
If you’re having trouble sharing files, here are some quick tips you can try to determine the exact cause, and hopefully fix any complications for good as well.
Note: If you don’t have the other device that you want to share files with, then consider asking its owner to go over the following troubleshooting tips with you in tandem.
If you don’t see the other device
Enable Nearby Sharing
This should sound obvious, but often the simplest things are the most forgotten. So here we go – have you turned on Close Share on both devices? It is not enough to enable it on the device from which you want to share the file, but it is necessary to have it installed and running on both devices.
To do this, open the Action Center: click the notification bubble on the right side of the systray, and then click the tile labeled Nearby Sharing. If it is not easily visible, click Expand to show the hidden tiles.
If you don’t see Nearby Sharing in the Action Center, let’s see why it might be the next option.
Update Windows 10
If you didn’t already know, Nearby Sharing was a feature that was added to the operating system in the April 2018 Spring Creators Update. So, when using older builds of Windows 10, don’t be surprised to find it missing. the option.
A metered connection may have prevented Windows 10 from automatically updating to the latest build. But regardless, let’s check if the device has the necessary version of Windows 10 running on it.
Step 1: In the Start menu, type about , and select About Your PC from the search results.
Step 2: Scroll down to the Windows specifications section. You should now be able to see the version of Windows 10 listed next to the version, which should say “1803” or higher.
If your device does not have version 1803 or higher installed, then you need to update it to get the Near Sharing functionality. To do this, type Updates on the Start menu, and then select Check for updates.
Note: Upgrading to version 1803 can take a considerable amount of time and bandwidth to complete, but afterward, you should be able to see the Sharing Nearby list within the Action Center. Just activate it then.
If you still have detection problems even with the latest version of Windows 10 installed, then you need to check for Bluetooth compatibility.
Check Bluetooth compatibility
Microsoft has designed the Share in Proximity feature to work over Bluetooth, but it is not limited to that. For starters, your devices need Bluetooth adapters that run firmware version 4.0 or higher, and to top it all they also need to support the Bluetooth low energy specification.
Step 1: Type device manager in the Start menu, and then select Device Manager from the search results.
Step 2: Expand Bluetooth, and then right-click on your Bluetooth adapter and select Properties.
Step 3: Click on the tab called Advanced. Next, check the LMP value next to Firmware Version – it should show a reading of 6.x or higher to denote a Bluetooth firmware version of 4.0.
As you can see, the screenshot above shows an LMP value of only 4.x, which is well below the firmware version required by Nearby Sharing.
Step 4: Switch to the tab labeled Details, and then use the drop-down menu under Property to select Bluetooth Radio Supports central low energy function. Once selected, the low value area should read “True” to indicate support for the specification.
Once again, the above screenshot denotes a Bluetooth adapter with a value of “False”, which means that it does not support the Bluetooth low energy specification.
Also, if any of your devices don’t meet these criteria, your Proximity Sharing experience should end here.
Of course, you can still use an external Bluetooth adapter that includes both firmware version 4.0 and support for the low power specification on the problem device. But if you’re in a rush, just using a flash drive to transfer your data would be a lot faster!
Set up shared experiences
If the Bluetooth adapters of both devices are not a factor but you still cannot detect each device of the other, then you need to configure the Sharing options in the deep environment.
Sharing in close proximity offers a setting that truly hides non-owned devices from view, so be sure to follow the steps below, especially if you’re about to share with someone else. The same goes for the other device.
Step 1: On the Start menu, type Shared Experiences , and then click Change Shared Experiences Settings Between Search Results.
Step 2: In the section called Share Nearby, open the drop-down menu under Can I share or receive content from and select Everyone who is nearby.
If either device had this option set to My Devices Only before, then changing it to Everyone Nearby should allow them to successfully detect each other.
If you see your device, but can’t share it
Another issue that can arise is when the Share in Proximity feature allows you to initiate a file transfer, yet the other device does not provide any indication that your files will be received. If this happens, then there are a few things you need to keep in mind to get Close Sharing to work normally.
Keep devices closer
While Bluetooth has a moderate range when it comes to connectivity, both devices need to be fairly close for Close Share to work properly.
Ideally, it should be within 30m range, or even closer. If possible, try to keep both devices in the same room to avoid walls or other obstacles hindering the Bluetooth connection.
Check the Action Center
After Share Nearby sends a file, the other device usually receives a toast notification, which should allow the user to save the file directly or open it automatically after download.
However, Windows 10 may not show notifications at times, especially if you have Focus Assist turned on. In that case, just open the Action Center and you should see the Nearby Object Sharing notification listed.
Check device name
If you have a lot of Windows 10 devices with Windows 10 Sharing enabled around them, you may have accidentally sent the file to the wrong person. By default, Windows 10 uses a mix of letters and numbers to name a device, adding to the confusion. Therefore, consider checking the device name.
Step 1: Open the start menu, type sysdm.cpl , and then hit Enter.
The System Properties dialog should now load.
Step 2: Under the Computer Name tab, you can find the device name next to the Full Computer Name.
Note: You may also consider changing the computer name to something more identifiable, but that can result in additional complications in terms of the availability of network resources. If you don’t mind, use the Change button that appears in the System Properties dialog to do so.
If connection drops / files transfer slowly
If you’ve already shared a file but find the input process to be terribly slow, or if you find that large files don’t transfer after some time, let’s see what you can do to improve your overall experience with nearby object sharing.
Connect to Wi-Fi
Bluetooth is not the fastest way to transfer files locally. If you think your files are taking a long time to copy, or to make matters worse, if the connection keeps dropping, consider connecting both devices to a Wi-Fi network.
This should cause Nearby Sharing to start copying your files over Wi-Fi. Don’t expect to get rid of Bluetooth just yet though, as you need it to establish the Nearby Share connection in the first place.
Note: Make sure to connect both devices to the same Wi-Fi network. Otherwise, Nearby Sharing just sticks to Bluetooth to transfer your files.
Make connections public
If connecting to Wi-Fi doesn’t speed things up, don’t forget to set the network profile of both devices to Public. If you don’t, your devices won’t be able to contact each other over Wi-Fi.
Step 1: Click the Wi-Fi icon on the taskbar, and then click Properties under the Wi-Fi connected profile.
Step 2: Simply hit the radio button next to Public, and you are good to go.
Note: Setting the network profile to Public can open your devices to all kinds of security problems. So refrain from doing this if you’re on a busy network that you don’t fully trust – at a shopping mall, for example.
Hopefully, you’re done with any issues that have bothered you, except for Bluetooth incompatibility issues, which is a real shame since you have to consider outlaying money for an external adapter.